Musings, politics and environmental issues

Archive for May, 2012

Inept regulatory authorities

There is a growing awareness that Icelandic regulatory authorities are not doing their job properly. For instance: Industrial salt was used instead of food-grade salt for 13 years in many companies (some of which export abroad) and when the fact was revealed, the wholesaler was allowed to continue until its stocks were finished. High levels of cadmium were found in fertilizer sold to farmers last year, which the authorities knew about.  The authorities kept quiet on the dioxin issue until forced to take action. Dioxin coming from waste incinerators had been far above the EU regulation level for at least 4 years. The Food and Veterinary Authority take insufficient action when cases of negligence are found amongst sheep farmers. The international company Becromal were allowed to release sodium hydroxide (NaOH) into the sea. Iceland can’t monitor all 300 substances potentially found in food because the equipment can only measure 60 of them. The research body MATIS, which monitors these substances, refused a grant from the EU for better equipment and instead continues to get a waiver from the EU about this. And then of course there was the PIP scandal, the Icelandic Medicines Agency has been criticised for its lack of monitoring, etc. etc.

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Underground energy cables

I’m about to begin writing an article about an underground energy cable (otherwise known as an interconnector) which may be set up between the UK and Iceland. I’m not sure how it will turn out – my original remit has been expanded somewhat by IPS to include Desertec – but it will be an interesting subject to work on. I know that conservation groups in Iceland have reservations about the cable from Iceland and want an EIA to be done first. Watch this page!